AU mission vows to step up fight against al-Shabab despite terror attacks

MOGADISHU, July 13 (Xinhua) — The African Union’s senior envoy in Somalia on Saturday vowed to continue with stabilization efforts in Somalia despite increased terrorist attacks in the Horn of Africa nation.

Francisco Madeira, special representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, also condemned the terrorist attack on a hotel in Kismayo, southern Somalia, in which 26 people were killed and 56 others wounded.

Madeira said the latest hotel attack was meant to derail progress in Somalia as the country rebuilds and consolidates the gains made on peace and security.

“The attackers are a group of people with a criminal, murderous and destructive agenda. They cannot claim to be fighting to bring good governance to the country,” he said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

Ten foreigners including two Americans, one British, three Tanzanians, three Kenyans and one Canadian are among those killed in the attack that also left two Chinese among those injured.

Al-Qaida allied group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying four of its fighters entered the building with a car laden with explosives and carried out the attack.

Madeira said AMISOM forces will continue to support the Somalia security forces as they continue to liberate areas that remain under the control of violent extremists.

He said the AU mission will work with the Somali government, its member states and the international community to track down and bring the perpetrators of such an act to justice.

The AU envoy said Somalia has made tremendous progress in seizing territory and pushing out the terrorists from many places across the country.

“As we come to terms with this attack, I wish to salute the extraordinary resilience of the people of Somalia, who are responding to this attack with determination and continue to work hard to rebuild their lives and their country,” Madeira said.Xinhua